Corporate Social Responsibility
Teachers Building Society embraces responsibility for its ongoing activities and conduct of staff in relation to the community and the environment.
Our responsibility includes open and frequent communication with our members, staff and educational professionals. We have identified seven key areas that we will review regularly to help us meet our responsibilities:
Established by teachers to help teachers own their own home and provide a safe haven for their savings.
- Support teachers and members of the wider education sector who are looking to buy their first home, move or re-mortgage
- Guide first time buyers through the house buying process in a caring and responsible way
- Dedicated small mortgage team to provide support throughout the process, plus fully trained advisors to ensure the product you select is the best option for your circumstances
- Provide a wide range of competitive schemes including fixed rate and discount
- Offer general insurance and protection plans designed for the home buyer
- Offer an efficient postal, telephone and online service
- Provide a wide range of accounts including easy access, tax free and notice
- Provide attractive returns for the long-term
- Offer a financial advice service
The Society also aims to:
- Provide a high standard of customer service
- Treat members as individuals
- Understand and support the financial needs of teachers
- Maintain mutuality and our educational roots
Transparency & Openness
As a mutual organisation, we believe that the fair treatment of our customers is integral to our corporate strategy and is embedded within the organisation's policies, procedures and practices. This links in well with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) initiative: Treating Customers Fairly. We have embraced the TCF ethos and closely follow the six consumer outcomes as defined by the FCA.
As part of our support for the FCA's activities, we have set our own standards that anyone dealing with us can expect, committing ourselves to:
- Treating each customer as an individual and listening to them
- Giving correct and clear information in plain language to enable customers to make informed choices
- Acting with integrity at all times
- Explaining our decisions clearly
- Addressing customer concerns seriously and with understanding
Because the Society is a mutual organisation, this means that we do not have any shareholders to pay dividends to. The money we raise from savers is lent out on mortgages, accounting for about three-quarters of all the funds we raise and because we are Teachers Building Society, almost all our mortgages are with teachers. The remainder of the funds is lent to a variety of highly rated banks, building societies, and also placed in government bonds. We do not hold stocks or shares or any other sort of investment in any companies.
Compliance with Codes of Good Practice
The Society complies with the following codes and practices :
- UK code on corporate governance
- Banking Conduct of Business
- Treating Customers Fairly
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Adherence to all mortgage and insurance conduct of business rules as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority
Environment & Sustainability
The Society recognises and understands the importance of protecting the environment and promoting best practice. We continually look at ways to improve our environmental performance, and minimising adverse environmental impacts where practicable.
We make sure that all staff are aware of the environmental and ecological implications of office activities and this is now included as one of our six core values.
Some of the best practices we adopt are as follows:
- We seek to use items that come from renewable sources
- Assess materials for the minimal use of resources
- Install equipment that minimises the use of energy and water
- Comply with the appropriate Health and Safety advice regarding environmental aspects of office facilities
- Confidential paper waste is collected for shredding (in accordance with the Data Protection Act)
- Printing cartridges are sent to a specialist recycling company for refilling
- Paper and cardboard are collected and taken to a recycling bank
- Unwanted IT equipment is recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sensitive way
- Stock control and ordering systems are geared to ensure that supplies of printed materials do not exceed requirements, thereby reducing eventual waste
- Electronic document storage is used to reduce paper usage
- Photocopying is only used where necessary and doubled sided copying is used where possible
- We review whether computer generated reports are still required
- Screens are powered down when not in use and all screens switched off at close of business
- Low radiation screens are installed
Staff and directors are encouraged, where feasible, to use non-vehicular or public transport (air travel being the least favoured option) on Society business.
Staff Involvement and Support for Charities
The Society has for some years now been committed to raising money for both local and national charities. Every month a collection is made for a charity which has been chosen by a member of staff. Some of the local charities that have been supported in the past are Julia's House, Click Sergeant and the Lewis-Manning Hospice. Other national charities include, Macmillan Nursing, Retinitis Pigmentosa Society, Motor Neurone Disease, Children in Need, Comic Relief and Jeans for Genes day.
The Society acknowledges that it has a responsibility to ensure effective workplace practices and has developed working policies on diversity, work-life balance and employee development. Through the Teachers' People, Policy and Procedure strategies, and with core values as their foundation, the Society has embarked on making changes required to ensure that wherever possible the Corporate Social Responsibility philosophy is embraced at all times.